Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

GTO illustration and more T-shirt questions.

Discussion in 'Designs & Layouts' started by Joe Diaz, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    Okay so I've been getting a lot more illustration jobs. The owner of the largest Pontiac Automobile collection is opening a Pontiac Museum here in town. He wanted me to illustrate a few of his cars. I started with the GTO for obvious reasons. :wink:

    Pontiac GTO.jpg

    Next I need to turn this into a t-shirt design. Keeping that in mind I have already designed it using only 4 colors with transparent gradients of those colors. Black, Light Gray, Light Blue, and a red. Will that work for t-shirts? especially the gradients? Any insight on that process would be helpful. I would prefer the t-shirt places just take care of these for me, but if I could meet them halfway somehow, I would think that would be helpful. (getting sick of their whining. :Big Laugh)
  2. Pro Image

    Pro Image Major Contributor

    Nov 28, 2005
    Joe....I see no problem with your art printing it in 4 color on a t-shirt......A good shop with a nice automatic could crank them out nicely.......The only thing extra you would need in the art part is a underbase if you wanted your design printed on black or dark shirts.....
  3. WrapperX

    WrapperX Active Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    Damn Joe - that is some nice work!

    She is a beautiful piece of machinery isn't she?? :loveya:
  4. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    You should see it in person... and you can July 24 at the grand opening! :thumb:
  5. DrCAS

    DrCAS Member

    The only thing I see is that the Redlines need to be toned down some. They really aren't that vivid in real life. They are detracting from the awesome job you did on the rest. Very nice work!
  6. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    Actually they are that vibrant in real life. I'm working from a photo and even thought I'll exaggerate some things, to make it look a bit more illustrated, in this case not the red. Regardless of how it looks in real life and on the screen, my guess is when the screen printers gets a hold of this it will depend on what colors they use.
  7. tcorn1965

    tcorn1965 Very Active Member

    Nov 3, 2009
    Amazing detail!
  8. signage

    signage Major Contributor

    Oct 5, 2005
    Nice work Joe!:thumb::thumb:
  9. vid

    vid Very Active Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    Can you print separations from your computer? ...either to paper or a file to see what you've got?

    Fundamentally, the printer is wanting the ability to output each color to film separately. In that way, each ink color can then be layered on top of one another in the printing process... Similar to preparing customer art for the layering of cut vinyl on a sign. Hence, the typical request for color separated or spot color spec'd art. Anything else, the printer will grumble trying to guess what you've done to build the file and how they can color separate it to meet your expectations.

    I'm assuming your build colors are the same as the ink colors to be printed. If so, can those colors be easily isolated?

    The typical villains in computer art that make this cumbersome are:
    • gradients involving different spot colors. --- the colors between the spot colors are read as CYMK (I can't remember if Corel interprets this different than illustrator --- Still if, the final file isn't output from the native application, it could be a problem. Moreover, it gets funky where 50% of one color meets 50% on another color.)
    • transparencies of one spot color over a different spot color > CYMK (Again, I can't remember if Corel interprets this different than illustrator --- Still if, the final file isn't output from the native application, it could be a problem.)
    One work around to build production art, is to use layers in Corel to design the image. The individual colors are built on separate layers. In that way, the effects of the transparencies converting to CYMK can be isolated by turning on and off each different layer for film output.

    The other method is to use overprints rather than lens transparencies - This method allows for the all the colors to be on the same layer or across multiple layers depending on your work flow. (this is where I forget if Corel's transparencies act like overprints in film output. That's to ask if the transparency knocks out the color below or not --- or, for example, if it allows for 100% of one color to print on 100% of the color below.) - Overprints allow for more than 100% of the same color to print in the same location. This is helpful smoothing a gradation from one color to another without having the shirt color show through in areas of the gradation.

    In either case, the swatches used to design the piece must be true spot colors and not an RGB or CYMK mix given a name. Ideally they are PMS colors that the printer can easily reference. That is so the color can be output as a separation in the print dialogue box. (It makes the film black rather than the color or a grayscale of the layer.)

    ...and, and another way, that isn't dependent on spot colors in the file, is to make 4 separate files. In each file, make one of the colors process black (K) and the rest white. Then, just print the individual files for the separations. ...theoretically, that should work... but, hopefully, you don't get a real whiny printer because it will take some guess work and manipulation on the separator's part for the films to come out nice. (That's if white in Corel recognizes transparency effects. Otherwise they will need to be a spot color that doesn't get output to film.)​

    I know your preference is to let the printer do it. So this should give you an idea of what the printer is assessing when he gets the art. What you've done by limiting your palette is definitely helpful. buuuuuut, It's not going to completely keep your ears from burning when it's in the separator's hands, LOL.

    :omg: Do you need to print a white underbase for colored shirts?... :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: ....... :ROFLMAO: (Grayscale of art on black background > invert > adjust > Done)

    ~hope that's not too confusing.

    Nice illustration BTW :thumb:
  10. WrapperX

    WrapperX Active Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    In my college years we would take digital images and seperate them into a four color process to be screen printed or etched to metal or stone. To do this you would take your image into photoshop and isolate it into the four colors - C M Y K - then by deleting the layers you could issolate the areas that needed to be printed for the particular color. Basically you would delete the M Y K layers so all that was left would be the C - so the image would look very blue. Using this layer you can print it to be "burned" into a photoemulsion screen for printing. For each color you would have one screen and using transparency liquid in with your inks you would print Cyan on one screen Magenta on another and so on and if you mix was right it should look just like it's supposed to. Granted you would need a whole screen printing set up and all that. But it is possible to get all ranges of colors - in the same way that a desk top or large ink jet printers work - with a screen print set up.
  11. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    Here is the back side of one of the shirts:
    pontiac GTO shirt.jpg

    Like I said before, I only used 4 spot colors. I can separate the colors as bitmaps, but not vectors (at least without doing a bunch of work. Here is the pantone blue color:
    pontiac GTO shirt blue.jpg

    When it comes to vector, I have no issue separating colors if they were all flat. It's not too different from doing layered vinyl work. So I get that, But when you throw gradients (or transparencies) into the mix, that is when I struggle.

    Has anyone used "simple seps"? http://www.advancedtshirts.com/products/simple-seps-plugin.html
    Would it be worth it for me to get something like that, or do the screen printers have this type of software?
  12. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Middleburg, Florida
    Man that is just flat out nice work. A good printer with an auto and experience can take your file and output it to suit his needs to get the best work out of his press.
  13. vid

    vid Very Active Member

    Jun 11, 2003

    niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice! If you can do it, your printer should be able to do it.

    It's the same thought process, but think in objects rather than color. A gradient should be the same color from end to end in one object. 100% pantone blue to 0% pantone blue, for example, is the same spot color as the flat color that you understand. That's where most people get hung up --- understanding the gradient as one "color."

    Defining transparency, is fairly simple, too. It's understanding how the computer works with the effect and the appropriate terminology.

    Think in 3 dimensions. The goal is to lay one color on top of another color to create a third color. On your GTO, a shadow from the fender makes a portion of the red on the tire darker.

    Again, I forgot how Corel works, but in Illustrator a transparency will mix two colors on one level. The shadow tint of black over the red will physically change the overlapping color to dark red. ...like mixing paint. only it's CYMK. However, for printing, someone will want to deconstruct that by figuring out how to get all the black molecules out of the red molecules ...and that's when the whining starts.

    However, Overprint will suspend the shadow tint of black over the red to give the appearance of a dark red... like laying transparent vinyl over another color to create the third color. ...ahhhhhhhh, that's much easier to rip black molecules off of red molecules. (The RIP pun was intended - LOL)

    That's how the illustration software understands it when one goes to print the color separations.

    Hopefully, that's understandable and clicks with you.

    The software like you posted has some sort of algorithm/action/process to do the same thing you're doing without you understanding what it's doing. ...for better or worse.

    It shouldn't be something, you need to buy. Production shops will typically have something of that nature... Fast Films, Spot Process, some version of index color seps. But with this particular design, you may be past using something like that for anything other than experimentation and education. Then too, a competent shop will want to massage the design a bit, so that it will be easy for them to set up for production based on limitations of their equipment. Either they will take ownership of it, and do it. Or, be able to communicate to you what would work best.

    There is a 10 play Demo on the site you could try if you wanted, though.​

    With what I've seen of your work for t-shirts, the designs aren't really all that complex. Your gift for effective simplicity is awesome! Heck, if I had a screen print shop in Pontiac, I probably wouldn't need to spend more than an hour showing you a couple tricks on how to set-up art for production. Then, deeeeeeeeeeep discounts/commissions/kick-backs, whatever you wanted, on anything you supplied and next day delivery... LOL.
  14. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    I think I'm getting the hang of it. This time the separations are in vector:
    Oakland color sep.jpg

    Here it is all put together:
    Oakland Illustration.jpg
  15. btropical.com

    btropical.com Active Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    very nice work
  16. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

    May 5, 2005
    I tried this myself and now I'm even more impressed with your work Joe.
  17. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

    Mar 25, 2006
    Mars Florida
  18. signswi

    signswi Very Active Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Spot seps, impressive. Why not just CMYK seps? You're already paying for four plates/colors...are the spots outside the process gamut?
  19. vid

    vid Very Active Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    uh.... YEAaaaH! Very nice!

    For your work, you're about as far as I'd think you'd want to go with Corel for t-shirt seps on anything but white --- without getting frustrated or spending a bunch of time figuring out underbases.

    The base that you've got makes sense and follows a logical step. But, it wouldn't be my favorite to use. Unless you're really wanting to learn the whole T-shirt thing, that's probably a screen you'd want to leave to the printer if they know what they're doing. It would work, it would be gorgeous, but IMO, it's a kind of a PITA to work with.

    My preference would be for a modified reverse of your black. It'd be tough to explain, but it would be a little more production friendly and add some depth to the image.

    For an example, I'd take the black image into Photoshop:
    >Black background
    >Adjust mid-levels to darker to taste - (so they print whiter)

    To me, a halftone underbase gives it a softer hand. A solid underbase gives it a more sticker-like feel. But that's my aesthetics, though. Your customer's preferences may vary.

    Also, the halftone underbase gives the image a little more dimension as the following layers of color print on both the white and the shirt color.

    Attached Files:

  20. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    ahhhh cool. Thanks for your help vid. I appreciate it.

    Yeah Ideally like I've said before, I just want the screenprinter to just take care of this stuff, but there is nothing wrong with having at least a little understanding of where they are coming from, if it isn't that big of a deal, I don't mind doing a few things differently on my end in order to make the job go smoother on theirs.
Similar Threads - GTO illustration more
  1. Fred Weiss

Share This Page